Public Defender’s Statement on Continuous Violation of Minors’ Rights in Ninotsminda Orphanage
The Public Defender of Georgia is responding to the video footage spread on the social network and calls on the state agencies to immediately respond to the continuous violation of the rights of minors in the Ninotsminda orphanage.
According to the footage, the head of the orphanage publicly contacts certain individuals in the presence of children and asks children if they are willing to leave the institution. It is obvious that children are under strong stress, are crying and are not protected from pressure or psychological violence.
The Public Defender of Georgia emphasizes that the minors living in the Ninotsminda orphanage are under state care and decisions on their placement in care are made only with the involvement of the relevant agency, taking into account their best interests. The head of the institution, as an unauthorized person, hinders this process and not only neglects but also violates the best interests of children.
It is unacceptable for children in state care to experience similar attitudes and stress. A clear proof of the State's inaction and disregard for the needs of children is the fact that today, the head of the institution publicly talks about the personal data related to children, while the State cannot exercise de facto supervision over the institution licensed by it.
Based on the above, the Public Defender of Georgia calls on the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to:
- Immediately ensure the protection of minors from pressure and psychological violence in the facility, prevent the violation of their best interests
- Launch an investigation into the alleged psychological abuse and take all effective measures to protect the best interests of minors
- Ensure that the process of placing minors in other alternative care continues and is completed immediately in relation to every child.